Archives for February, 2009

Meet Linda Reinstein

Linda Reinstein is a mother and grandmother.   Linda Reinstein is an asbestos-disease widow.  Her husband Alan Reinstein, 67, died on May 22, 2006 from mesothelioma.  Like her husband, Linda Reinstein is a fighter, an organizer, an activist.   Following Alan Reinstein’s mesothelioma diagnosis in 2003, they founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) which is now entering its sixth…

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure My sciblings at Scienceblogs have done a pretty thorough fisking of the Andrew Wakefield affair.To recap breifly, a paper by Wakefield and others in The Lancet in 1998 raised an alarm that the widely used measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine was the cause of some cases of childhood autism and a…

Seeking Government Scientists

I’ve written before about this project; now, we’re very close to finishing data collection and are looking for a few more government scientists to interview. At the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health, we’ve launched a multi-part study to understand the current policies surrounding scientists’ work at…

OMB Watch Helps us with The Fine Print

The nonprofit group OMB Watch is a terrific resource for learning about and monitoring the inner workings of the government. Their mission is “to increase government transparency and accountability; to ensure sound, equitable regulatory and budgetary processes and policies; and to protect and promote active citizen participation in our democracy.” Over the years, I’ve had…

NIOSH Struggles to Help Flavoring Workers

As we’ve noted before, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was the federal entity that responded most appropriately to respiratory problems among workers exposed to the butter-flavoring chemical diacetyl. They evaluated the hazards at workplaces using diacetyl and recommended steps to reduce exposures; as affected workers were probably sad to learn, though, NIOSH…

Cass Sunstein’s “Yes, We Can”

Cross-posted from CPR Blog, by Rena Steinzor We’ve written a great deal about Cass Sunstein, the Harvard law professor who is expected to get the nod to be the “regulatory czar” for the Obama Administration.   In a nutshell, our concern is that Sunstein will stifle the efforts of health, safety, and environmental protection agencies to…

Occupational Health News Roundup

February 7th marked the one-year anniversary of the explosion of the Imperial Sugar plant that killed 14 workers in Port Wentworth, Georgia. (This post has links to our coverage of the tragedy.) In the Associated Press, Russ Bynum checks up on explosion survivor Jamie Butler, who still needs painkillers, steroid injections, and daily physical therapy…

Annals of peanut butter: it keeps getting worse

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure The peanut butter with a side of salmonella story just keeps getting worse (other posts here, here, here, here, here, here). The toll so far is 8 dead, 575 confirmed salmonella cases (and undoubtedly many more never reported) and 1550 products recalled, one of the largest recalls in US…

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers discuss food: Andrew Schneider at Secret Ingredients points out that FDA can’t just shut down the facility responsible for salmonella-tainted peanut paste. Maryn McKenna has more bad news about the drug-resistant bacteria MRSA: now it’s been found in Belgian chickens. Tom Philpott at Gristmill attends the Seafood Summit and makes analogies (between land- and…

Coal Tattoo

We often link to Ken Ward Jr.’s excellent coverage of mining issues in the Charleston Gazette. He does a fantastic job exploring the many ways that decisions by mining companies and government bureaucrats affect the lives of mineworkers, their families, and mining communities. Celeste summed up our admiration for him a couple of months ago,…